Mark your calendars. The 2013 Year-in-Review and 5th Grade Baby Picture program is scheduled for the morning of Tuesday, June 11th (the last day of school). It’s a video celebration of our year, a way to honor our outgoing fifth graders, and a hoot to boot. Be sure to join us. In the meantime, can you name the 5th grader shown at left?
Room 15 kids have their last homework assignment on Wednesday night of this week, and their last test–this one in math–on Thursday. Here’s the homework for the week: Monday, June 3rd; Tuesday, June 4th; Wednesday, June 5th. Speaking of tests, state- and district-level tests have finally been completed and, it turns out, Room 15 kids did really well! In looking at the results, there is an obvious correlation between success on the tests and good homework habits. In short, kids who consistently did their homework–including devoting quality time to reading–succeeded on these standardized tests. Good to know as the kids move on to middle school!
Despite rainy weather, a hard gym floor, and sometimes ill-prepared campers, our 5th Grade Coastal Adventure was a mega-hit with kids, parents, and teachers alike. Our first major stop was at the South Slough Estuary near Charleston. Here the kids hiked down the Hidden Creek Trail to activity stations where they learned about pickleweed, migrating birds, estuary soup, and uplands wildlife. Next, we pulled in at Sunset Bay State Park where rain and surf combined to soak the majority of our students. Fortunately we had rented the gazebo. Kids crowded around picnic tables covered with hotdogs, potato salad, chips, cookies, and soda, then gathered around the campfire to roast marshmallows and to keep warm. Once we’d rescued all the lost shoes, jackets, and frisbees from the beach, we headed to North Bend High School. After setting up our bunks, we then walked to the aquatic center down the street for a vigorous swim and a few Tarzan escapades on the rope swing. What followed was a rough night on the gym floor under lights that couldn’t be fully dimmed, but the kids awoke in good spirits and headed off to breakfast at Cape Arago. We then descended on the tide pools, applying what we’d learned from our research projects to a series of short videos (see below). We concluded our day with brief stops at the Simpson Reef Viewpoint where we watched harbor seals and sea lions through telescopes, and at the Charleston Marina where we checked out the fishing vessels. You can see pictures from our trip by clicking here.
Special thanks to all the amazing parents who assisted with the trip: Mrs. Odom, Mrs. Hawkins, Mrs. Collom, Mrs. Westbrock, Mr. Herbst, Mr. Gerhard, Mrs. Hamre, Mrs. Gregg, Mrs. Acrey, Ms. Coy, Mrs. Colbert, Mrs. Reed, Mrs. Medina, Mrs. Bass, and Mr. and Mrs. Spencer.
The three-day weekend gave us all a chance to catch our breath before heading back to class on Tuesday. The big events this week include Scenic Orientation on Tuesday and DARE Day on Wednesday. In the meantime, here’s our math homework for the week: Tuesday, May 28; Wednesday, May 29; Thursday, May 30.
Thursday morning promptly at 7 a.m. we’ll be loading up and heading out on our 5th Grade Ocean Adventure! Kids took home their cargo lists today, and they’re busy in class finishing off their tide pool research projects, which will make each of them an expert on a creature of the tidal zone. One of my favorite is the nudibranch. Think slug–just like those monsters you find munching on the hostas in your garden–but adorned in a fascinating array of shapes and colors. It is always a highlight to spot a nudibranch on the Oregon Coast.
The coast is one of two big focal points this week. The second one is DARE Graduation, which takes place Tuesday at 1:00 in the Music Room. It’s a big moment in the life of a CPE 5th grader. Congrats to our essayist presenters from Room 15: Shelby S., Celina R., and Emily H., as well as alternates Bryant B. and Tre F. In addition to going through ceremonies, Room 15 kids will be signing the Red Ribbon–yet another pledge to remain drug free. It carries the signatures of all my students over my 20 year career. Stop into class before the year is over to see it.
Finally, our Room 15 kids have nearly conquered long division with confidence and courage–but this week they’ll be tackling double-digit divisors. Here’s the homework: Monday, May 20th; Tuesday, May 21st. Note there will be no homework the rest of the week to accommodate the coast trip.
The Coast Trip is just around the corner (May 23rd-24th), so the majority of our class work is centering around tide pool and estuary science. Students are busy becoming experts in tide pool life by creating research projects around individual species. These will be posted on their webpages upon completion, but the greater hope is that when we get to Cape Arago, students will be able to recognize and teach one another about the creatures they see. This week students are also continuing their current Book Clubs and practicing long division. Here’s the homework for this week: Monday, May 13th; Tuesday, May 14th; Wednesday, May 15th; Thursday, May 16th.
Ellipses are traditionally used to show when text has been deleted from a quote. Modern usage, however, allows for greater creativity, such as using them to generate… suspense. This week’s Super Sentences are meant to utilize ellipses in this way. They’re difficult for young writers to handle, but Room 15 kids have done a nice job of trying them on. Click on “view comments” or “replies” to see their sentences.
Room 15 kids recently recorded their classroom reader’s theater presentation of The Cardiff Giant. It tells the true story about how in 1868 the citizens of Cardiff, New York, discovered a ten foot tall petrified man buried on a local farm. Our play stars Dakota C. as Stub Newell, the farmer, and Emily H. as Lydia Newell, his wife. It also stars Zach G. as George Hull, the story’s villain, Jordan C. as Billy Houghton, and Bryant B. as Colonial George Wood. Every student in class had a part. You can listen to a podcast of the play by clicking on the picture of the giant at left.
Speaking of giants, congratulations to Room 15 kids TaylorRose T., Paige B., Grace M., Zach G., Chloe S., and Jonah S. for being named SOU Academy Scholars. They’re the academic giants in our classroom. The award means they’re eligible to attend Southern Oregon University’s prestigious Academy program this June. CPE had six representatives attend last year.
The Science Fair is May 17th. Projects packets are available in the classroom. The projects are voluntary, but they must be completed at home. Parents are welcome to and encouraged to coach and assist their children, but the project should ultimately be the work of the student.
In class this week we’re starting our last Book Club of the year on Wednesday, taking our vocabulary exam on Thursday, and starting a giant of a math unit on long division. We’ll be teaching two methods: the traditional algorithm and the Marilyn Burns model, which works better for kids who don’t have a firm grasp of their multiplication facts. Here’s the homework for this week: Monday, May 6th; Tuesday, May 7th; Wednesday, May 8th; Thursday, May 9th. This week we’ll also be continuing our preparation for the coast trip with studies about the South Slough, and we’ll be starting our individual research projects about tide pool creatures.
Room 15 kids picked up 23 pounds of trash on our third Adopt-A-Street Clean-up. This is significantly less than previous outings, but it wasn’t due to any lack of effort on the kids’ part. Our theory is that Hopkins Street residents are doing a better job of cleaning up after themselves. The photo at left is my favorite from the clean-up. It was taken during our brief respite at Van Horn Park.
So much to do and so little time to do it! Our 5th Grade Oregon Coast Adventure is just around the corner–May 23rd and 24th, to be exact. We’ll be spending the next three weeks preparing for it with classroom activities related to trip. In the meantime, a packet of information including the permission slip,itinerary, and chaperone form will be going home with students this week. Of course, we still have all the rest of our classwork to address. Students will be finishing up their current Book Clubs by early next week, they have new vocabulary words on Monday, April 29th, and in math we’ll be wrapping up our study of graphs with a quiz this Friday. Here’s the homework for this week: Monday, April 29th; Tuesday, April 30th; Wednesday, May 1st; Thursday, May 2nd.
Finally, students performed their classroom plays last week. These are simple but fun classroom productions that, according to research on the brain, improve fluency quite significantly. Click here to see The Stupids, and here to see Babe. Horton Hears a Who appears right here:
We have a variety of important events upcoming in Room 15. First of all, we’re finally ready to perform our collection of silly classroom plays, all in the Music Room on Tuesday afternoon. The kids will present Horton Hears a Who at 1:05, Babe at 1:25, and The Stupids at 1:45. Those these plays are simple and short, they’re also a lot of fun. Family members are invited to join us.
This week we’ll also be embarking on our third clean-up of Hopkins Street. As part of the City of Central Point’s Adopt-a-Street Clean-up, Room 15 kids compete to see which small group can collect the most litter. If you haven’t yet seen the friendly competition in action, please join us on Thursday at 9 a.m.. We’ll be done by 11:30.
Other important dates include DARE Graduation on May 21st, the 5th grade Coast Trip on May 23rd and 24th, and DARE Day on May 29th. Parents are encouraged to attend DARE Graduation, and let us know if you’re interested in serving as a chaperone for the Coast Trip. In class this week, students are meeting daily in their Book Clubs (Matilda, Island of the Blue Dolphins, and Sign of the Beaver), presenting their DARE essays, making bar graphs. Here’s the math homework for this week: Monday, April 22nd; Tuesday, April 23rd; Wednesday, April 24th; Thursday, April 25th.
Finally, a special hi-ho to all our Suessical the Musical performers. These kids have been dedicating hours upon hours of practice and performances as part of Crater’s big spring musical, which closed Saturday night at the Crater PAC: CPE 4th graders Jaidyn Campbell and Elizabeth Heppner, former CPE kids Ana Hillock, Emma Quackenbush, Alex Schadle, and Caitlyn Campbell, and our own Room 15 superstar, TaylorRose Tavares. The show was fantastic, and despite the long hours, these dedicated students still managed to get their homework done and come to school awake and alert every day. Awesome job!
Our apologies to Kim Kardashian. The topics for this week’s Super Sentences were pizza, crawdads, and Ms. Kardashian. Apparently that’s a bad combination, as it inspired some less-than-pleasant similes (which was our structure for this week). Click on “Replies/Comments” to read them.
Room 15 students will begin presenting their DARE essay on Wednesday. We’ll be attempting to get these posted on their web pages over the next couple of weeks. Note that students must complete the essay and present it to the class to graduate from the DARE program, participate in graduation, and attend the DARE Day activities in May.
We’re now planning on performing our class plays on Tuesday, April 23rd at 1:00 in the music room. Family members are invited. We’ll also be starting new Book Clubs on Wednesday of this week. In math, students will be studying data and creating a variety of graphs. Here’s the homework: Monday, April 15; Tuesday, April 16; Wednesday, April 17; Thursday, April 18.